Yes, I know, loyal reader. Michael Franti is much more commercial than the music we normally cover here on Incognito HQ. However, I had the opportunity to interview Michael earlier this week, and I found him to be a righteous dude. And the thing is, when you listen to his music, you can’t help but feel good. His tunes are like a buoy for the soul. And that’s what Feel Good Fridays are all about. It’s about putting a week of crummy work behind you and moving on to the weekend, where (hopefully) you don’t have to worry about some job that you don’t care about on your best days.
I know that Michael Franti needs no introduction from me, so I’ll just get on with it. If this song doesn’t lift your spirits, you might be dead inside. As we head into the weekend, enjoy “The Sound of Sunshine.”
I was working on the Halloween issue of the magazine. Above is just a little taste of what you’ll see. This will be our last monthly issue, but fear not, loyal reader. It won’t be our last issue. We like doing this too much to stop now. However, our schedule is going to change. Beginning in January (it will be here before you know it), we will switch to a quarterly schedule. You’ll still get the same great content, just less frequently.
Another change that is coming to Incognito is that we’re going to be getting a lot more stuff on video and posting it here at Incognito HQ.
Here’s the thing, loyal reader. You know we value your input. So I ask you, what changes would you like to see come to Incognito…the blog or the magazine? Feel free to let us know.
It’s a new world for musicians. They no longer need a label to put out their music. But beyond that, bands have to come up with new ways to market their music. Chasing Mars has come up with an ingenious idea for a good cause. For one week only, the band is offering t-shirt singles. Sounds unusual, right? Well, it is. The concept is simple. You buy one of the band’s t-shirts, and on that shirt is a code to download the band’s new single “Take You for Granted.” Which is cool for you, because now you’ve got a new shirt and a new song. However, it’s also good for the Ronald McDonald House, where all of the proceeds of the t-shirt sales will go.
If you’ve read this blog even once, you know we are all about supporting indie bands. In this case, you get to do more than that and support a good cause in the process. Everybody wins.
Some bands just seem like they were made for Incognito. Duo Divergente is one of those bands. Let me just lay it out for you. This is a garage-rock duo from Spain. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know how big a sucker I am for both Spanish bands and rock n roll duos. This one doesn’t disappoint.
One thing is readily apparent as soon as you press play on this band’s Bandcamp page. This band has a real retro sound. In fact, “Chico Jot Down” sounds a lot like French girl groups of the 60s. I’m not sure how this band dresses (aside from this one photo), but when I hear this song, I imagine the two members dressed in mod black-and-white outfits.
“La Serrana” is pure primitive goodness. The guitar and drums are simple and raw, but what really brings this one to Trashy Town is the sustained “AAAAAAAAAAAH” in the backing vocals. Play this for people without giving any information about the song, and I bet they won’t guess it was recorded in 2013.
Duo Divergente only has two songs on its Bandcamp site, but those two songs whet the appetite for more. I can’t wait to hear what this band does next, and I think I’ll like it just as much as this small sample.
England has long had a connection with reggae, ska, and rocksteady. So it was no surprise that I stumbled onto a reggae band from England (Leicester specifically) for Feel Good Friday. And this band is an excellent choice for the occasion.
This band works a pretty good groove, and – like a lot of reggae bands – it delivers a lot of messages that people need to hear. A good example of this is “Make Your Own Road.” Let’s face it. The message itself is not new. Poets and writers for generations have been telling us to forge our own paths. And yet, so many of us still end up in cubicles. Maybe it’s time we started taking that message to heart instead of just hearing it and grooving to it.
Another good example of a message we all need to hear is in “Rise Up.” This song encourages the listener not only to “rise up and know yourself” but also to avoid being sidetracked by things like politics. Frankly, I can’t think of any better advice than to avoid politics at all costs. Generally, thoughts of politics only bring people down. But I’m not here to talk about politics. In fact, that is the antithesis of Feel Good Friday.
Do yourself a favor this Friday. Check out this album from By The Rivers. Even if you’re (regretfully) sitting in a cubicle, the grooves this band produces will help you feel better.
Yes, I know. It’s been a while since my last Take ‘Er Easy Thursday post. Let’s not dwell on the past. Instead, let’s focus on this moment, which is another celebration of the ethos of The Dude. Now, I should say that this is a little different than some of the other songs we’ve featured for Take ‘er Easy Thursday. However, the title of this song is not only something The Dude says in the movie, but also something that The Big Lebowski recommended that The Dude tattoo on his forehead.
Certainly, The Dude is not the first guy to utter the words. But let’s face it. There is a lot of power in those two little words. Days n Daze realizes the power and the freedom in those words. Just check out the lyrics of the chorus.
Life’s a game
Life’s a joke
Fuck it! Why not go for broke?
Trade in all your chips and learn how to be free.
Why abstain? Why jump in line?
We’re all living on borrowed time.
Do what you like…
If that’s not Dudelike, I really don’t have any idea what is. The Dude certainly traded in his chips and learned how to be free to drive around, have the occasional acid flashback. Plus, we all know that The Dude doesn’t abstain: from drinking, recreational drug use, coitus, or telling off rich guys in their own homes. Think about it. When The Dude says “Fuck it!” it’s the ultimate battle cry of freedom. At that point, all The Big Lebowski can do is lecture him as The Dude walks out of the room. That right there is the power of those two little words. Well, I guess that wraps ‘er up. I’ll catch you later on down the trail. Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know you will.
Welcome, loyal reader, to another edition of Trashy Tuesday. In case you’re just joining us, this is our weekly celebration of the loud, lo-fi, and raucous. This band from Buena Park, California, delivers all three of those ingredients in spades. But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to “Funky C” – especially the chorus. I’d love to see this song performed live because I’m sure it would get people jumping into each other.
The funny thing about this band is that while the guitar is raw and loud, it’s pretty clean too. It stands in pretty good contrast to the raw quality of the vocals. This band has a way of making every song into a free-spirited romp. “Bumstick” is a song that captures the energy and sound of 60s garage rock. For a real curveball, listen to “Meat Mountain.” This song sounds like what would happen if you hired the garage band down the street to play at your hoedown. And hey, if you live in the kind of neighborhood that has hoedowns, why don’t you invite your humble narrator? I’ll even see if I can score some moonshine for the occasion.
If you’re a regular here for Trashy Tuesday, I think Honey Badgers fits real nicely into your collection. It’s garage, it’s a little psychedelic. It’s a party for your ears. If you want to wait for the vinyl, the album will be available from Resurrection Records in November. If you want to get the album now, you can score the MP3s on Bandcamp for the low price of $7…or about the same as a good breakfast burrito.
The Greasemarks might be as fitting a name for a band as I’ve ever encountered. What better name for a rockabilly band – a genre known for songs about hod rods and drag racing? The tagline for this band on Twitter says, “Nasty. Authentic. 50s style rockabilly.” Not one of those claims is false. This band plays 50s-style rockabilly filtered through some gritty garage rock.
The rockabilly sound is prominent throughout the melodies (particularly the guitar and bass). These guys from Toronto play the kind of melodies that get couples swinging on the dance floor. “Plowin’” is a great example. This song sounds like it could have been recorded in the 50s. In fact, it sounds a lot like “Mystery Train.” The garage rock sound is mostly in the vocals, especially in the song “Bring Her Back (Don’t)”.
If you like the classic rockabilly sound with just a little grit added, The Greasemarks is a band you should get to know. It will sound great coming from the speakers of your hot rod, or at your local juke joint.
Ladies and gentlemen, The Bores…erm The Doors
I know that The Doors is a band that has meant a lot to a lot of people. I am not one of those people. Now, I should qualify this by saying that I don’t hate The Doors. At best, I am neutral about the band. And that’s the problem. Whenever I hear The Doors, there is no reaction inside me telling me to crank up the volume. Neither is a reaction that it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard (I have, after all been subjected to Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, etc.). I don’t know if I can even really explain my aversion to The Doors. At the time this band recorded, it really sounded like no other band. You could make the case that to this day no other band sounds like The Doors. The only thing I can say is that this band evokes no emotional response for me.
“But it’s The Doors!” is the argument made by fans of the band. Yeah, I know who it is. I’ve heard the band’s songs countless times. That doesn’t mean I enjoy them or want to hear them.
“But Jim Morrison was a true American poet!” is another argument you’re likely to get from fans. I just wonder if people would be so enamored with Jim Morrison if he had lived until 57 instead of dying at 27. Or let’s just say that he had lived another 10 years, but didn’t make the same kind of music as when The Doors started? It’s worth pondering.
So yeah, I know it’s The Doors. And I know the band’s place in the pantheon of American rock bands. But if you try to plead the case for the band, or if you play some of its songs for me, my response is the same. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
Oculus is available now for download on Bandcamp (vinyl in November)
Yes, I know, loyal reader. It’s supposed to be Funk Friday. Or maybe even Feel Good Friday. And here you see the pick of the week, which normally appears on Wednesday. Here’s what I can tell you. A wiser feller than myself once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I’ve planned to write about Borracho for at least three weeks, but let’s just say a whole lot of life happened. So, anyway…I do apologize for not delivering Funk or Feel Good Friday, but I think you’ll find this band worthwhile.
As I was randomly searching Bandcamp for fuzz rock (one of my biggest areas of exploration this year) one day, I came across this band. And you know something? These guys deliver the goods. LEt’s face it. One of the great things about fuzz rock (or stoner rock, or whatever you call it) is big, meaty guitar riffs. Well, you’ll certainly get your fill of those on this album. It doesn’t just sound like it was recorded in the 70s, it’s also formatted like a 70s rock LP with four songs longer than seven minutes long. I can see turning this over after the first two songs and playing Side 2 after enjoying the two songs on Side 1. All of the songs are a good example of the 70s sound, but “Know the Score” really grabs my attention with its wonderfully low, fuzzed-out sound. Just have a listen for yourself. And don’t miss the guitar solo in “Stockpile.”
If you’re a fan of Clutch, or anything on Small Stone Records, I have no doubt that you will thoroughly enjoy this album and the other offerings Borracho has available on Bandcamp. Do yourself a favor. Get this album, put it on, crank the volume, and share it with your neighbors. Who knows? This could be the new favorite band for everyone in your neighborhood.